7 principles for building better cities

More than half of the world’s population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. The way we build new cities will be at the heart of so much that matters, from climate change to economic vitality to our very well-being and sense of connectedness. Peter Calthorpe is already at work planning the cities of the future and advocating for community design that’s focused on human interaction. He shares seven universal principles for solving sprawl and building smarter, more sustainable cities.


Peter Calthorpe

Ecuador: from reconstruction to development

December 1st, 2017

Versión española

Ecuador, 16 April 2016, an earthquake measuring 7,8 Mw leaves 661 people dead. Economic losses are estimated at 3,000 million dollars and 14 provinces are affected. The emergency teams arrive and start the reconstruction process. Today, the vision of more resilient and sustainable long-term urban planning plays a fundamental role in reconstruction that aims to avoid the degradation of the city. Urgency should not however compromise future development but respond to the ongoing challenges of providing housing and basic services, addressing social segregation and promoting economic activity to improve the situation previous to the disaster.


Maíta Fernández- Armesto Expert in
Urban Resilience

Barcelona places its bet on resilience

November 29th, 2017
 As announced in the article La Resiliencia Urbana, clave del futuro de las ciudades (Urban Resilience, Key for the future of cities), urban hubs across the world are initiating their journey towards becoming resilient and protecting their inhabitants, goods and functionality in the face of crisis. This is also the case of Barcelona, one of the partner cities of the City Resilience Profiling Programme of the United Nations, a Programme working to improve resilience and empower local governments to increase their capacity to face and recover from any hazard. For a city, being resilient guarantees the ability to function, advance and regenerate in a more sustainable manner.


Ares Gabàs Masip.
Director of the Urban Resilience Programme, Barcelona City Council

Urban Resilience: Key to the Future for Cities

November 29th, 2017

“Resilience” is a trendy word. This concept has its origins in sciences such as ecology, psychology or materials resistance, is now being applied to almost every aspect of life including the predominant human habitat: the city. But what is resilience, and how is it applied to the urban world? (more…)

Gemma Noguera
Editor and Publication Management Specialist

The Battle of the Ages: How climate change is leaving its mark on cities

November 28th, 2017

With recent news accounts reporting hurricane after hurricane, the question of whether climate change is real is at last disappearing to the background. While attributing the occurrence of any single event to climate change is difficult, global warming does multiply and intensify hazards. Heat waves and droughts are predicted to become more frequent, intense and long lasting; heavier precipitation over shorter periods of time will heighten the frequency and intensity of flooding; sea level rise will generate higher surges; and storms are expected to increase in duration and strength. (more…)

Towards an Urban Resilience Institute

November 28th, 2017

In March of this year UN Habitat convened a two day meeting in Barcelona to explore the possibilities of setting up an Urban Resilience Institute with partners from 10 Universities across the globe.

This meeting took place in the context and background from 2016 of a number of global initiatives in relation to urban futures, the quality of life for communities, climate change and the continuing drive for sustainable solutions to the world’s urban social, economic, environmental, security and governance issues. (more…)

Professor Colin Fudge
Professor of Urban Futures and Design

Towards implementation of the 2030 agenda at local level

November 28th, 2017

The New Urban Agenda to be adopted at Habitat III, along with its sister agreements that form the 2030 Development Agenda – the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change – set out the ambition needed to meet the challenges of our world. The issues addressed are deeply inter-related. Without disaster risk reduction, sustainable development is impossible, just as climate change must be addressed through actions that are synchronised with disaster risk reduction, so as not to undermine the achievement of mutual goals. (more…)

Dr. Robert Glasser
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

The Power of Urban Water by Design

November 28th, 2017

Urgency, complexity and opportunity

The 2016 World Economic Forum Global Risks Report puts the impact of water crises as the number one global risk for the next decade. It is estimated that two billion people will be devastated by 2050, and four billion by 2080, if we continue with our current practices. Water is affecting 15% of the world’s GDP and 90% of the world’s disasters are water related.


Henk Ovink
Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of The Netherlands

Ecuador: de la reconstrucción al desarrollo

December 1st, 2017

English version

Ecuador, 16 de abril de 2016 un terremoto de magnitud 7,8 Mw deja 661 muertos, una estimación de daños económicos de 3.000 millones de dólares y 14 provincias afectadas. Los equipos de emergencia se despliegan y empiezan las labores de reconstrucción. (more…)

Maíta Fernández- Armesto
Formerly Expert in Urban Resilience, UN-Habitat

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